Fremd rolls over Palatine this time
After barely edging crosstown rival Palatine 29-27 in a defensive struggle on Dec. 17, host Fremd knew it had to be ready for its rematch against the visiting Pirates Friday night in a Mid-Suburban West girls basketball game.
And the Vikings were not about to take Palatine lightly this time around as they stormed ahead of the Pirates 17-4 after one quarter before taking a commanding 36-11 lead into halftime behind a great defensive effort.
Fremd (19-5, 6-1) continued that dominance in the third quarter as it outscored Palatine (10-12, 2-4) 20-11 to put the Pirates in an insurmountable 56-22 deficit.
Based on IHSA rules, the remainder of the contest was played with a running clock as the Vikings posted a lopsided 61-24 victory.
"The last time we played them they zoned us and I thought we did a nice job coming out and showing that we can make 3s and hit open shots so that was awesome to see," said Fremd coach Dave Yates, whose team forced numerous turnovers by the Pirates in the first half.
"I thought we played hard, I thought we collectively took their best player (senior Madi Stark) out of the game. She didn't get a lot against us, and we did a good job of limiting her looks around the basket."
The Vikings had balanced scoring overall, but it was junior guard Nikki Gonnella that really kicked Fremd's offense into high gear as she hit a 3-pointer to give the hosts a 26-9 lead with 3:25 remaining in the second quarter.
But that was only the start for Gonnella (game-high 16 points) as she hit another 3-pointer 45 seconds later to boost the lead to 29-9 before her third 3-pointer at 1:22 put the Pirates in a deep 32-10 hole.
"We've got kids who can knock shots down. We see it every day in practice so it was good to see it carry over to the game," added Yates, whose team fell to Barrington earlier in the week,
"It was a good bounce-back game for our kids for sure."
Gonnella scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half while freshman teammate Ella Todd scored 9 of her 11 points in the first half. Fremd teammates Brianna Wooldridge and Maddy Fay scored 9 points apiece while Brynn Eshoo chipped in 7 points for the Vikings. Stark led cold-shooting Palatine's offense with 6 points.
"I kept shooting them (3-pointers), then they were getting out a little so I was trying to look for the open player and find other ways to score for the team because we were getting out fast and the momentum was good," said Gonnella. "We really wanted to bounce back and send the message that if we lose we're going to come back even stronger. So that was just a really good game and I'm glad we bounced back and won."